A touching message from veteran Kim Jin-soo amid victory cheers

Kim Jin-soo has shared an emotional message in response to Son Jun-ho’s return to the national team.

The South Korea national football team (ranked 22nd by FIFA), coached by interim head coach Hwang Sun-hong, defeated Thailand (ranked 101st by FIFA) 3-0 on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET in the fourth Group C match of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2026 Canada-Mexico-USA (North and Central America) Asia Region Second Qualifying Round at Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. With the win, South Korea (10 points, 3 wins, 1 draw, 12 goals for, 1 against, +11) consolidated their lead at the top of the standings, while Thailand (4 points) dropped to third place.

It was a complete victory for South Korea. South Korea had a shaky start to the match, but then took control of the game. It didn’t take long for them to open the scoring. In the 19th minute, Lee Kang-in’s killer pass from the midfield was quickly collected by Cho Kyu-sung, who ran onto the ball and cut back past the goalkeeper. Lee Jae-sung slotted it home to take the lead.

An additional goal followed. The scene the entire nation had been waiting for came. In the ninth minute of the second half, Lee Kang-in sent a pass to Son Heung-min, who scored with a left-footed shot after a characteristic painting move. It was Son Heung-min’s 46th career A-match goal. After the goal, Lee Kang-in rushed over to Son Heung-min, who embraced him with a huge hug, ending the controversy once and for all.

South Korea drove a wedge into the game. In the 37th minute of the second half, Park Jin-seob finished a header by Kim Min-jae off a corner kick with a cool volley. It was Park’s A-match debut goal. With the 3-0 win, South Korea earned three valuable points against Thailand.

After the game, the Taekwondo Warriors went to the place where the Red Devils cheered and took a victory photo to show their gratitude. During this process, Kim Jin-soo appeared on the KFA Inside Cam. “Junho, I miss you so much, and I’m grateful that you came out and we won, so please support us in the future,” he said in response to the news of his return.

Kim Jin-soo also reacted to the news of Son’s release in the post-match mix zone, saying, “I thought about him a lot. I cried a lot when I heard that he was back in good health for whatever reason. I hope to meet (Son) as soon as possible.”

Son was detained by Chinese police in May last year. Shandong’s players and coach were investigated for match-fixing, and Sun Junho was also investigated for match-fixing. He was detained, and he was never released. Fortunately, by March, the trial was concluded, and he was released and allowed to return to South Korea.

On March 26, Son Jun-ho posted on his personal social media account, “Hello, I’m Son Jun-ho, I’m sorry for the delay in greeting you. I am grateful to be back safely, spending time with my family and enjoying a normal life. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the people of Korea for their interest, patience, and concern over the years.” He also expressed his gratitude for his situation.


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